Water soaked fabric can feel so heavy. I felt like that today, water-logged, rain soaked, weighted and tethered. This April fool’s storm, filling the rivers, the road, the cars as they take a chance on driving through their usual, unflooded route, filling the grocery store where the roof collapsed again. At 5 a.m., I was up again changing out the towels and pots I have lined up like steel soldiers, like the little Dutch boy whose finger plugged the dam. But, as usual, we’re the lucky ones. Our small leaks are from new construction, not Ivan damage repairs.
I think of the Indonesian families suffering and dying from new tremors and the families in this community who are still living with blue plastic tarpaulins covering their roofs from Hurricane Ivan. Most of the families here do at least have a roof, but nonetheless it’s not easy to face a morning like this one for them, flooded yet again, the almost fourteen inches which have fallen in less than twenty hours wreaking new havoc on the weakened infrastructure.
Making my way into town for an appointment, I thought how foolish of me not to have cancelled it. Just outside our gate, a small pick-up truck was stalled out. I plunged into the water-filled road. The old Lincoln Town Car is like a boat or a bathtub on wheels. It didn’t even sputter.
I headed onto Interstate-10. The westbound lane was backed up for miles. Emergency vehicles everywhere. Passing by on the other side, I saw a small silver compact car sliced neatly almost in half, and felt a sourness in my stomach rise up my esophagus. It looked so surgical.
I heard on the radio that a transformer had blown downtown, causing a fire underground. How is that possible? Think of it.
Flooding, roofs caving in. Folks having heart attacks. People just sitting down and giving up.
All around the world, we’re in our tiny storm-tossed boats. Some days it feels like Pi’s Bengal tiger is on board with us. Who can blame dear Karol Wojtyra for taking the last plane out?
Ah, and yet. Everything changes. Everything changes. Sitting now, waiting for my appointment, a light at the window startles me.
It’s the sun.